Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Making use of football to impart life skills

May 29, 2013,Bangalore :--

There's something about football that makes it larger than just a sport. "All that I know most surely about morality and obligations, I owe to football," Albert Camus had said.

While countless greats have rhapsodised about football, in Bangalore the game doesn't yet invoke fervour enough, 20-year-old engineering student Tejas felt that strongly enough to push for change. How? By preparing a complete football curriculum for children, conducting workshops, and teaching children how to play the game.

Tejas's football workshops start from the basics like tying the shoelaces to warm-ups, strategic drills, ball control, shooting, game plan and cool downs. Besides the game, they also learn important life skills. "Football will make one think deeply, be creative and brave. It will build confidence, teach you trust and lead," Tejas says.

In the last six months, he has conducted several workshops at schools and sports academies and created over 60 football enthusiasts.

Tejas's affair with the football began 11 years ago at St Joseph's Indian High School. "I used to get to the grounds before 7 am just to watch the older students play football. I was the ball boy who fetches the ball if it gets kicked out of the field, until one day the coach asked me to join in for a game," Tejas recalls.

He soon found a place in the school team. "My coach started taking me for big tournaments. I made it to the state under-12 team, and won many prizes." Later, he became the captain of his college team, made it to the state team and bagged several trophies. He was doing his degree in electrical engineering at RNSIT, Bangalore, when he was compelled to revisit football from another angle.

The turning point for Tejas was a game India played against FC Bayern Munich."The national team lost badly. I was ashamed. I wanted to change the scene."

He thought of how to make a difference and decided to start by coaching school children. He hunted grounds where children played. He studied their game, took copious notes, and prepared a football curriculum before approaching sports academies and school, which let him teach.

"At the workshops and camps, I start with a lot of fun drills, then go to basics. I keep in touch with all the students even after the workshop. I organise matches between teams and get the kids to hone their skills regularly," he says.

Recently, Tejas taught a bunch of students older than him at the CV Raman Research Institute and later pitched them against students of Shibumi school, where he had conducted a camp earlier.

Tejas has been learning too. "On the ground, to win you have to play as a team, pass the ball, and trust your teammate. I learnt that the best way to teach is to guide while letting the other person makes mistakes and learn."
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